Director Batgirl responds to film cut shock: ‘We still can’t believe it’ | Warner Bros

Director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have responded to the cancellation of their Batgirl film, writing that they are “sad and shocked” by the news.

The Belgian filmmaker, best known for 2020’s Bad Boys for Life and episodes of Ms Marvel, shared a statement on Instagram following news Tuesday that Warner Bros. Discovery will not be releasing a DC Comics adventure near its post-production end.

“We are saddened and shocked by the news,” the two wrote. “We still can’t believe it. As directors, it is imperative that our work be shown to audiences, and while this film is far from finished, we hope that fans around the world have the opportunity to see and embrace the final film itself. Maybe one day they will do it Insha Allah.”

The pair later paid tribute to the “amazing cast and crew” who “did an amazing job and worked so hard to bring Batgirl to life”. The film features In the Heights star Leslie Grace as Batgirl with Brendan Fraser, JK Simmons, Rebecca Front and Michael Keaton returning as Batman.

“After all, as huge Batman fans since we were kids, it’s a privilege and an honor to be a part of the DCEU, even if it’s for a moment,” the statement concluded. “Batgirl For Life.”

Leslie Grace as Batgirl
Leslie Grace as Batgirl. Photo: DC Movie

The $90 million film, which was meant to premiere on US streaming service HBO Max, has finished shooting and is being tested. However, it was revealed that Warner Bros. Discovery would not be releasing it on any platforms.

Despite rumors that the decision was based on the quality of the film, Variety claims that sources placed the decision on tax incentives, “seen internally as the most financially sound way to recoup costs”.

The news comes after WarnerMedia officially merged with Discovery in April and CEO David Zaslav took the reins. It was reported that Discovery took on about $43 billion in debt during the merger. Zaslav promised to cut about $3 billion in costs that had the proposed DC film Wonder Twins canceled in May.

This week also saw the animated sequel Scoob! Holiday Haunt saved. Co-author Paul Dini tweeted: “Why cancel a 95% holiday movie that finishes this close to Fall, when you’re guaranteed the kids are watching it from right after Halloween until at least New Year’s? It makes no business sense.”

“The decision not to release Batgirl reflects a strategic shift in our leadership with respect to the DC Universe and HBO Max,” the statement read. “Leslie Grace is a very talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her appearance. We are so grateful to the filmmakers Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective cast and we look forward to collaborating with all of them again in the near future.”

Today saw reports that six HBO Max originals had been removed from service and offered as paid rentals elsewhere, including Melissa McCarthy’s comedy Superintelligence, Robert Zemickis’ remake of The Witches and Anne Hathaway’s caper Locked Down. August also saw the entire Harry Potter franchise leave the service and head to NBC’s Peacock.

This Thursday Warner Bros. Discovery reports its second-quarter results. Unlike Netflix, HBO Max started the year off well with first-quarter results showing 12.8 million global subscribers year over year, up 3 million from the previous quarter.

Last month, Zaslav spoke to Variety and restated his desire to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one streaming platform. “We’ll talk about how we’re going to do it, and when, very soon,” he said.

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